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The Marianist Family in the United States launches the Encounters Project

Updated: Mar 29, 2023

The Marianist Family Council of North America has endorsed the formation of the Marianist Family Encounter Project to facilitate a multi-year journey of responding to Pope Francis’ calls to action in his encyclicals, Fratelli Tutti (2020) and Laudato Si’ (2015).

The Marianist Family will respond to Pope Francis’ proposals in the Global Compact on Education by embracing the goals of the Laudato Si’ Action Platform. This focus will invite us, personally and in our communities and ministries, to bring about meaningful and life-giving encounters at the intersection of the cry of the poor, the cry of the earth, and the gift of our Marianist Charism.

This opportunity emerged from a synergy of initiatives that really reflect the approach and prophetic vision of our Marianist Founders two hundred years ago. The Encounter Project urges us from our communal strengths to forge prayerful solutions to emergent concerns in service of our church and our world,” said Sr. Leanne Jablonski, FMI, MFEP coordinating team co-chair.


"In essence, we are being invited to go above and beyond what we already do — to respond creatively and collaboratively to the many interrelated challenges of our times — by living and promoting an integral ecology while keeping the human person, and especially the most vulnerable, at the center of all we do as Marianists," said Bro. Jesse O'Neill, SM, MFEP coordinating team co-chair.

The Marianist Family Encounter Project will engage existing networks within the Marianist Family and envision new pathways to nurture a common platform for ongoing collaboration around Pope Francis’ invitations among all branches, ministries, communities, and persons in the Marianist Family of North America.

The coordinating team (Liaisons) consists of:

  • Rob Brodrick, National Director of Marianist Lay Community of North America (MLC-NA), liaison to MLC-NA

  • Erica Duarte, National Coordinator of Marianist LIFE (Living in Faith Experience), liaison to Marianist schools

  • Dr. Savio Franco, Director of Leadership Development, Research, and Partnerships, Marianist Province of the United States, liaison to Marianist Universities

  • Sr. Leanne Jablonski, FMI, co-chair, Director of Marianist Environmental Education Center (MEEC), FMI Provincial Council, liaison to Marianist Sisters and Marianist Social Justice Collaborative (MSJC)

  • Jarrod Kinkley, liaison to MLC-NA

  • Bro. Steve O’Neil, SM, Office of Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation (JPIC), liaison to Marianist brothers’ communities and Marianist parishes

  • Bro. Jesse O’Neill, SM, co-chair, SM Provincial Council Assistant for Education, liaison to Marianist schools

  • Tara Poling, Program Coordinator of MEEC, liaison to retreat centers

Our deepest gratitude to the Marianist Social Justice Collaborative, the General Administrations of the Society of Mary (Marianist Brothers), Daughters of Mary Immaculate (Marianist Sisters), and the Marianist Lay Community of North America for their visionary work in laying the foundation of this joint endeavor.

All members and communities, across the interconnected and inter-reliant branches and ministries of the Marianist Family in the United States are called upon to pray for and engage with the Marianist Family Encounter Project, thus making it a tangible manifestation of our Marianist Charism, Spirituality and Mission lived in and through community – a spectacle of saints envisioned by our Marianist Founders. Trusting in the active guidance of the Spirit, we say as one Marianist Family – none of us has to do everything; however, all of us have to do something.

More details on how you can engage are forthcoming. For more information, contact co-chairs: Sr. Leanne at ljablonski1@udayton.edu or Bro. Jesse at joneill@sm-usa.org.


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